Alipay is a mobile and online third party payment platform based in Hangzhou, China in February 2004 by the Alibaba Group and its founder, Jack Mae. In 2015, Alipay moved its headquarters to Pudong, Shanghai, although its parent company, Ant Financial, remains Hangzhou.
In 2013, Alipay outperformed PayPal as the world’s largest mobile payment platform. As of March 31, 2018, Alipay users reached 870 million. It is the world leader in mobile payment service organization and the second largest mobile payment service organization in the world. According to Q4 2017, Alipay has a 54.26% share of the third-party payments market in mainland China and continues to grow.
In 2003, Taobao launched the first Alipay service. PBOC, the Chinese central bank, issued licensing regulations in June 2010 for third-party payment providers. It also issued separate guidelines for foreign payment institutions.  As a result, Alipay, which accounts for half of China’s non-banking online payment market, has been restructured as a domestic company managed by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma to facilitate regulatory licensing. The transfer of ownership of Alipay in 2010 was controversial, with media reports in 2011 that Yahoo! and Softbank (Alibaba Group’s controlling shareholders) were not informed of the sale at face value. Chinese business publications Century Weekly criticized Ma, who said the board of directors of Alibaba Group knew about the transaction. The incident has been criticized in foreign and Chinese media for damaging foreign confidence in Chinese investment. The property dispute has been resolved by Alibaba Group, Yahoo !, and Softbank in July 2011.
In 2013, Alipay launched the Yu’ebao Financial Products Platform In June 2013, the company still had what it called “a small paperwork problem” with the Chinese Securities Commission, but the company said it plans to expand the product, even if they are resolved.
In 2015, the parent company Alipay was transferred to the Ant Financial Services Group.
In 2017, Alipay introduced a face recognition payment service.
Alipay claims to work with more than 65 financial institutions, including Visa and MasterCard, which provide payment services for Taobao and Tmall, as well as over 460,000 online and local Chinese businesses.
Alipay is used in smartphones with Alipay Wallet. QR code payment codes are used for local in-store payments. Alipay also provides features such as credit card payments, bank account management, P2P transfer, prepay by mobile phone, bus and train ticket purchase, food ordering, horseback riding, insurance selection, digital ID storage. Alipay also allows online check-out on most Chinese websites such as Taobao and Tmall.
Alipay allows users to add their own services to different companies to create a more personalized experience.
Since the end of 2008, Alipay has supported public service payments and covers more than 300 cities across the country, supporting more than 1,200 partner organizations. In addition to receipts such as water and electricity, Alipay is also extending its services to areas such as shipping charges, property charges, and cable television charges. Common online payment services also include coal hydrocarbon payments, tuition fees, and transportation.
On January 15, 2009, Alipay launched a credit card repayment service that supports 39 home bank cards. Currently, the most popular platform is repayment by a third party. Key benefits include free credit card check, repayment without administrative fee, automatic repayment, installment reminders, and other value-added services. In the first quarter of 2014, Alipay Wallet paid 76% of credit cards.
Since December 2013, several chains of companies, including Meiyijia, Hongqi Chain and Qishiduo C-STORE and 7-Eleven, are gradually supporting Alipay payment; In December, Beijing taxi drivers began accepting Alipay to pay fare. Subsequently, Wanda Cinema, Joy City, Wangfujing and other major retailers as well as cinemas, KTV and catering companies have access to Alipay.